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"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam

The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.

Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.

Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!

Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.

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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:03:50 -0700
Subject: Letter of Recommendation

From: Mr. Cletus Santos

Dear Sir/Madam,
Investment Proposal

My name is Mr. Cletus Santos. I am a staff of a government ministry in
South Africa responsible for awarding and execution of contracts. I have in
my possession an outstanding contract payment of USD15, 000,000 Million.
These funds represent certain percentage of the total contract value
executed on behalf of a Department by a foreign contracting firm, which was
officially over-invoiced to the amount of (USD15, 000,000). Though the
actual contract cost has been paid to the original contractor, leaving the
excess balance unclaimed. So I am in search of an individual who will
assist me to transfer the outstanding amount of the total fund and
subsequently we invest same in lucrative ventures in his country.

You will receive this fund as an applied contractor. For your support and
partnership, please reply to negotiate the fee or the percentage you will
be paid when the funds arrive in your account overseas. I have the surety
to secure approvals with the concerned Departments. You must however note
that this transaction, with regard to my disposition to continue with you
is subject to these terms:

Firstly, our conviction of your transparency; meaning you will not ‘sit’ on
the funds when it arrives in your account, Secondly, that you treat this
transaction with confidentiality and also provide an account for which you
have absolute control.

It does not matter whether you/your Company does contract projects, as a
transfer of powers will be secured in favor of you/your Company.

Also, your area of specialization is not a hindrance to the successful
execution of this transaction as what we need is a foreign individual or
firm we will present and do the paperwork to clear the funds. I have
reposed my confidence in you and hope that you will not disappoint me.

I am looking forward to doing business with you and please email your
response to me through my private email address below.

Kindly provide me with your full names and telephone number so I can reach
you for more details and further deliberations.

Best regards

Mr. Cletus Santos

Tele; +27745669538

Anti-fraud resources: